annual report 2017


The Czech Museum of Music

The year 2017 was rich in terms of expanding the collections. Thanks to the ISO grant, the museum acquired a precious Marconcini violoncello from the 18th century, threatened with exportation from the Czech Republic; bought in an auction a previously unknown letter by Antonín Dvořák and purchased a violin by the significant violin-maker K. B. Dvořák and a unique set of correspondence by the pianist Svjatoslav Richter. From its own funds it enriched its collections with the family correspondence of Antonín Dvořák and Josef Suk and photographs and portraits of musicians. The Schueler brothers’ donation includes previously unknown correspondence by Emmy Destinn.

Preventive protection and treatment of the collections

The methodological centre for the documentation, conservation and restoration of musical instruments continued the exploration of musical instruments under the administration of the National Heritage Institute. The restoration workshops carried out continuous restoration and conservation of the collections of all departments. The curators improved their packaging and storage. Within the framework of scientific research, a rare musical manuscript from the 16th century and the writings of Bedřich Smetana were restored. The demanding restoration of the Steinweg grand piano damaged during the floods of 2002 was completed.

Professional management of the collections

The cataloguing of the collections (including recataloguing) took place using the VERBIS system for all sub-collections. The records are available on-line on the museum's website, which has been greatly appreciated by our own and foreign researchers. With the support of the Ministry of Culture, another stage of the complete retrospective conversion of historical catalogue of sheet music and now also audio media into VERBIS took place, accessible also in the Union Catalogue of the Czech Republic. The inventorying of collections exceeded the established quotas; the stocktaking of the sub-collection of the Bedřich Smetana Museum was completed.

Documentation of the collections

As a pilot project for digitizing sound, a unique set of standard discs was selected (25 000 digital media files). Digitization of the labels of the entire set was carried out, followed by the cataloguing, cleaning and digitizing of the recordings within the Internet Archive project; they were then made available in the KRAMERIUS digital library, subject to copyright restrictions, either locally or on-line. To continue with image digitization, the ProArc software application was developed to create the appropriate metadata for image files.

Research service          

The collection of musical materials is among those that are popular with professionals from around the world. Researchers' visits to the study rooms today represent only a minor part of the expanding agenda. Communication and study often take place in digital form. Valuable historical sheet music and autographs were the basis for scientific critical editions of musical works and publications on musical history, which subsequently enrich the museum library. The extensive collection of items became an important part of Czech Television's series about the Czech violin school.